The Bunker Spoken Word Brings The Heat To Horizon Festival

Published in Arts  
Huda Fadlelmawla, the Bunker Winner of 2018 and a guest artist for the Maleny heat in 2019. Huda Fadlelmawla, the Bunker Winner of 2018 and a guest artist for the Maleny heat in 2019. Image © Marc Austin-Zande

The Bunker Spoken Word’s annual series for Horizon Festival is back again this August with its signature spoken word competition attracting a cash prize of $500 for the winner.


Over the past year, the Bunker Collective trio have actively fostered spoken word culture in the Sunshine Coast region, hosting quarterly open mic events and feature performers, the Australian Poetry Slam regional heat and a variety of workshop opportunities. Their events are well-known for a good time and they’ve garnered themselves an established and loyal following among performers and audiences.

The upcoming series presented as part of Horizon’s ten days of arts and culture will be held in a range of venues across the Sunshine Coast and it’s not only in Maleny that the Bunker Spoken Word will reach new heights. With participation for performers and audience offered through both the competition and workshops, there is something for everyone.

To be eligible for the prize money, performers will need to qualify for one of the ten spots on offer in the culminating Grand Final Event. Qualifying Heats will be held at Solbar in Maroochydore (also featuring Alternator Poetry’s, Loki Liddle) and in the hinterland reaches of Maleny at Sarah’s Unplugged (featuring 2018 Bunker Winner, Huda Fadlelmawla). Cash prizes are available for the Winner, Runner Up and the People’s Choice in the Grand Final.

For those new to the form of spoken word or just plain curious, a Spoken Word for Beginners workshop will be held at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Run by veteran performer, Robin 'Archie' Archbold and poet, Nycole Prowse from the Bunker.

A masterclass workshop will also be run by guest artist and 2018 Australian Poetry Slam Champion, Melanie Mununggurr-Williams. This is available to all writers and performers wanting to hone their craft and improve their spoken word performance.

Melanie Mununggurr-Williams, who is Australia’s first indigenous Poetry Slam Champion will also be performing as a guest feature at the Grand Final Event held at the Imperial Hotel, Eumundi alongside the Top 10 finalists. DJ Roland West will be keeping the vibe alive with smooth tunes and MC and comedian, Anna Brennan will provide the laughs as the Bunker moves into the new Brewery space in the Imperial Hotel.

“For the past two years, tickets to the grand final competition event have sold out and we have had to run a waiting list at the door. This year, we will be in the Brewery space upstairs to allow for more space and better seating for the audience. We can’t wait to fill it!” Co-Producer Toni Wills says.

The Bunker Spoken Word invites poets and storytellers from across the country to travel to the magnificent Sunny Coast to have a crack at the competition and attend the workshops.

The Bunker Spoken Word is presented in partnership with Horizon Festival and is supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund through Sunshine Coast Council and Arts Queensland.

The Bunker Spoken Word runs from 17-31 August (including workshops, masterclasses, heats, and the grand final).

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